Sunday, July 6, 2008

South Dakota

As you all know we are settled in South Dakota and having a great time. Our jobs are going well and we've been visiting as many places as possible on our days off. Our first place to visit of course was Mt. Rushmore. Seeing it in person was more than I could ever imagine. Photos of it pale in comparison to seeing it for real. The feelings we experienced seeing Mt. Rushmore is something I'll never forget.
We have also gone to a place called Bear Country. It is a drive through wild life preserve that is home to many bears, wolves, bobcat, mountain goats, buffalo, reindeer and many other animals. It was so cool to see the bears up close.
A few of the other places we visited were the Presidential Wax Musuem - on display is a wax figure of every President of the United States. We have also gone to Crazy Horse Memorial, visited a Kangaroo Ranch, and the town of Deadwood. In Deadwood we visited Mt. Moriah Cemetary and saw where Calmity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok were buried. Also in Deadwood, the actor Kevin Costner owns a casino that we visited and he is also resposible for a visitor attraction called Tatanka. Tatanka is the Indian name for buffalo. He commissioned an artist to create bronze sculptures of buffalo being chased by Indians. The Indians used to chase the buffalo for food and clothing and in building their tents. Costner bought the land that was being destroyed as an auto junk yard and cleaned it up turned it into the visitor center. It was really beautiful.
Another thing we did was a 9 hour bus tour that tooks us to various places in the Black Hills. The name of the place that does the bus tours is called Fort Hays. All of the buildings that were used in the filming of the movie, Dances with Wolves (which starred Kevin Costner) are on the property of the tour service. They also have a chuck wagon and dinner show after they bring back from the bus tour. The movie was filmed not far from here and never realized that Kevin Costner had so much interest and was so an advocate on the preservation of the Black Hills.
Custer State Park is another great place we've visited. The day we went we were fortunate enough to see a field of about 200 buffalo, some of them came up real close the truck as we were driving through. There were also quite a few babies in the herd also. I was glad to be able to take so real close up photos of the buffalos.
As I said we're enjoying ourselves, and we'll try not to be so long in posting next time as we visit the many other places we have to go yet while here in the Black Hills. Enjoy our photos, we'll add some more next time.

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